Monday, July 17, 2006


Mayhem is everywhere, thinks Art Director, reading her post. Tiger Temple - those Buddhists have got it going on. An exercise in co-existence with tigers. Tigers and Buddhists. I'm a Tiger, recalls Art Director. Chinese horrorscope. Art Director reflects on tigers, and on bees. Why don't the tigers eat the Buddhists? Cats aren't generally socially responsible creatures, they are too selfish, thinks Art Director. Whereas bees have a biologically inbuilt sense of social responsibility. If they use their sting, they die. Art Director wonders if people who sting other people would do so if they knew they would die. He thinks some of them probably would.

Earlier, Art Director gets down to the heartwood with Bushranger, sitting with him at the first camp on the Ngaanyatjarra to Walu walk in the Great Victoria Desert. Bushranger is initiated into the Yarnangu, and has been living on the lands for the past twenty years, married to a black woman. He is carving out "the mother of all nulla-nullas" from a thick bough of desert oak. The axes he carries are razor-sharp. Bushranger has placed himself in charge of camp security, following an incident earlier in the day.

That looks like the Samoan war club from 'The Curse of the Lono' by Hunter S. Thompson, says Art Director. Bushranger nods. Push that log further into the fire, he says. The conversation turns from fire to women. Women always look after their sons, says Bushranger. They can't always rely on their husbands, but they can always rely on their sons. You see it all the time. You think it's conscious behaviour, asks Art Director. Oh, it's conscious, all right, says Bushranger.

The incident earlier in the day brings up the subject of l'amour fou - crazy love. Have you ever seen spinifex burn, asks Bushranger. Yep, says Art Director. Yep, agrees Bushranger. They sit and brood awhile. A long silence. Intense heat, then - nothing, says Bushranger. Yep, says Art Director. People say, Art Director, they say, you can't have a relationship based on sex and drugs, it won't work. But it worked all right - like a firecracker. Yep, says Bushranger, his leather hat nodding back and forth. He shaves a few more slivers of wood off the nulla-nulla, getting down to the heartwood. Problem is I stayed in that show for another four years, says Art Director. You poor bastard, says Bushranger. Another long silence.

You know, the only people you can influence are your kids, says Bushranger. Friends, partners - forget it. Only your kids. Art Director looks at the fire. He pushes the logs further in. Yep, says Art Director. Only your kids.

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